Blackpool 1-1 QPR: Seasiders rue officiating errors as they're held to a draw in pulsating televised clash

Blackpool were frustratingly held to a draw in a pulsating encounter against QPR in front of the television cameras.

Saturday, 6th November 2021, 7:30 pm
Updated Saturday, 6th November 2021, 11:46 pm

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Blackpool v QPR RECAP

Blackpool were frustratingly held to a draw in a pulsating encounter against QPR in front of the television cameras.

The Seaidsers produced an utterly relentless display from start to finish and were on the front foot from the first minute to the last.

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They cruelly went behind in the first-half, when QPR’s Chris Willock curled a sublime effort into the far corner in off the frame.

That followed some early drama, when the Seasiders had a goal wrongly chalked off for offside, while Jordan Gabriel was also denied a penalty.

Neil Critchley’s men kept their discipline though and got their just deserts at the start of the second-half, when Gary Madine levelled from the penalty spot.

The home side produced after after attack in a bid to win the game late on, showing impressive levels of energy. But that all-important winner eluded them.

Gary Madine smashed home Blackpool's equaliser from the penalty spot

Nevertheless, it was an impressive response to their midweek setback against Stoke City, leaving Pool in 10th place ahead of the international break.

Critchley made four changes to the side from Wednesday night’s 1-0 defeat to Stoke City, some enforced and some unenforced.

In came Owen Dale for his first Blackpool start, replacing Sonny Carey who dropped to the bench. There he was joined by Jerry Yates, whose place in the team was taken by Gary Madine.

Elsewhere, Reece James came in for the injured Richard Keogh, who suffered an achilles strain during the midweek defeat.

For James, it was his first appearance for the Seasiders since the end of August.

He came into the side at left-back, which saw James Husband move into the centre where he partnered Marvin Ekpiteta.

Josh Bowler, meanwhile, came back into the starting line-up in place of Demetri Mitchell against the side he started his career with as a youngster.

Keogh is joined on the sidelines by Chris Maxwell (quad), Luke Garbutt (knee), Dujon Sterling (quad) Matty Virtue (ACL), Grant Ward (achilles) and Shayne Lavery (hamstring).

And while Kevin Stewart and CJ Hamilton are back in training, neither of them are fully fit either.

QPR, who began the day in fifth place, but just one point ahead of the Seasiders, made two changes to the side that beat Cardiff City 1-0 in midweek.

The visitors opted to change halves before kick-off, meaning the Seasiders attacked the more vocal North Stand in the first-half, rather than the second as they normally like to do.

It didn’t take long for there to be drama. Just six minutes, in fact.

Blackpool had the ball in the back of the net when Kenny Dougall headed home from Ryan Wintle’s corner, which was flicked into his path at the back post.

Blackpool’s celebrations lasted a good 20 or 30 seconds before the ‘goal’ was ruled out, presumably for offside, following QPR’s remonstrations.

Replays show Gary Madine tried to get a final touch on the goalline before the ball rolled in, but the ball was already over the line and the striker was in line with Dougall anyway.

Despite the cruel setback, the Seasiders continued to make a superb start to the game, playing on the front foot right from the off.

But QPR slowly but surely began to grow into the game, causing Blackpool problems with their play in between the lines.

Another big call went against the home side in the 18th minute when Jordan Gabriel was wiped out by Moses Odubajo as he surged into the QPR box.

But once again, the referee and the linesman decided against Blackpool and their appeals, which appeared to have plenty of weight.

It was utterly predictable, then, that QPR would take the lead midway through the opening half.

It has to be said, it was a stunning goal from Chris Willock, who cut inside from the left before producing a curling effort that rocketed in off the post.

QPR’s opener was met with chants of “1-0 to the referee” by the home faithful, who were rightly furious with the official’s early decisions.

Blackpool, as they always do, responded well. They had a good chance to level just four minutes later too.

The chance began when Josh Bowler, as he so often does, roamed into the opposition box.

The ball ricocheted off the heel of a QPR defender, falling kindly for Madine who had a fairly simple task of rolling the ball back into the path of Owen Dale on the edge of the box, but the striker got it all wrong and the chance went begging.

The Seasiders continued to lay siege to the QPR goal, as Marvin Ekpiteta was denied from close range by a smart Seny Dieng save.

A minute later, there was another controversial officiating decision guessed it, went against the home side.

Moses Odubajo went straight through the back of Josh Bowler with force, yet was only shown a yellow card when it could easily have been red.

Pool were guilty of not creating enough chances on Wednesday night, but that certainly wasn’t the case on this occasion.

James Husband was the next Pool man to go close, flying to meet Ryan Wintle’s near post corner only to head over.

It proved to be the final opening of what was an action-packed first-half, which ended with the referee being roundly booed as he left the pitch, joined by chants of “you don’t know what you’re doing”.

The booked Moses Odubajo, who could easily have been sent off in the first period, was replaced at the break by the visitors.

Mark Warburton’s men had a half chance of sorts in the open exchanges of the second-half, as Albert Adomah’s shot took a wicked deflection and bounced just wide.

A decision finally went Blackpool’s way as the referee pointed to the penalty spot eight minutes after the interval.

It was a fairly straight forward decision for the man in the middle, who had no choice but to award a spot kick after Jordan Gabriel was felled by Dieng as he latched onto a clever ball forward from James Husband.

Pool fans wanted the referee to show the keeper a red card, but only a yellow came out of his pocket, with Joshua Smith adjudging it was an accidental foul, therefore applying the ‘double jeopardy’ rule.

Madine made no mistake with his penalty, sending Dieng the wrong way to level things up.

The wall of noise that met the equaliser was something to behold, as the ground erupted in what was a cauldron of sound.

Pool kept their foot on the pedal and produced wave after wave of attack, Madine coming close to a second as he dragged a shot wide of the upright.

The relentless singing off the pitch was matched by the relentless attacks on it, as the Seasiders continued to go all out for the win.

Ryan Wintle shot over from the edge of the box, while a promising counter broke down when Keshi Anderson’s pass to Dougall on the edge of the box was under hit and intercepted.

With just 17 minutes left on the clock, Critchley turned to his bench to make Blackpool’s first change of the night, as Sonny Carey entered the fray in place of the quiet Owen Dale.

Blackpool’s energy levels were simply supreme, the hosts keeping their foot on the gas in their search for a late winner.

Carey almost made an instant impact off the bench, hitting the outside of the woodwork from the edge of the box.

Demetri Mitchell, meanwhile, replaced Josh Bowler as the Seasiders looked for some fresh legs for the final stages of the game.

QPR offered very little in the way of an attacking threat in the second-half, but they nearly stole it late on when Albert Adomah fired wastefully over on the counter-attack.

Pool almost won it in the final minute of the 90, as substitute Demetri Mitchell provided a teasing cross which was almost turned into the back of the net by a QPR defender.

QPR, meanwhile, had a sniff of goal as Lyndon Dykes steered over, in what would have been the most undeserved winner of all time had it gone in.


Blackpool: Grimshaw, Sterling, Ekpiteta, Husband, James, Dougall, Wintle, Bowler (Mitchell), Anderson, Dale (Carey), Madine

Subs not used: Moore, Casey, Gretarsson, Connolly, Yates

QPR: Dieng, Dickie, Dunne, Barbet, Odubajo (Kakay), Amos (Austin), Dozzell, Adomah, Chair, Willock (Ball), Dykes

Subs not used: Archer, Field, Duke-McKenna, Thomas

Referee: Joshua Smith

Attendance: 11,769

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